Batman's Shuriken

I ordered shuriken today.


Looking up shuriken online is a tougher than you might think. The internet seems to be overflowing with misinformation on the subject and people who do have the knowledge don't really seem all that keen on sharing it. I'm always sending you to Wikipedia to start your searches into new topics but this is one time when the article could be improved upon drastically.

Let's get one thing out of the way: we're not just talking about ninja stars.

Shuriken can be translated as "sword hidden in the hand" or "hand hidden blade" and really this shouldn't just be limited to thrown weapons but is more generally any blade which is hidden in your hand. "Shu-Ri" --> "hidden in the hand" and "Ken" ---> "blade".

You can get a lot of history but the general motif seems to be that even the most mundane items can be effective weapons. Coins, washers, needles, nails, knifes or even flat pieces of metal are potential weapons.

There are two basic forms that shuriken tend to take.

Bo shuriken are long spike-like throwing weapons. One can imagine that there will always be improvisational Bo Shuriken around: chopsticks, hair pins, nails or even screwdrivers.

The second type are shaken. While bo shurkien were straight and dart-like, shaken have some shape. Shaken can be further divided into two class. Hira shuriken are the most familiar: they are the throwing stars from the 1990's ninja craze- the ninja stars I mentioned earlier. Hira shuriken can have any number of arms. As far as I can tell roppo shaken has six arms, juji shaken have only 4 and enbangata shaken are washer-like disks that have no arms but just a sharpened circumfrence. Then finally there are senban shaken that are more like lozenge shaped (i.e. diamond shaped). Both hira and senban shaken tend to have holes in their centers which apparently improves aerodynamics and can be used to string a bunch of shaken together.

To recap:
Bo Shuriken --- long spikes
Hira Shaken --- stars
                 Roppo --- 6 armed shaken 
                 Juji --- 4 armed shaken 
                 Enbangata --- washer
Senban Shaken --- diamonds

I ordered a set of five bo shuriken from Flying Steel. Flying Steel seems like a reputable manufacturer but at a fairly reasonable cost. There were a couple of other suppliers (other than the multitudes and multitudes of junk sites around) but just like it is hard to find trustworthy information on shurikenjutsu, it's hard to find trustworthy sellers(if you are aware of any other worthwhile suppliers let me know). That being said Flying Steel seems very professional.

Now I just have to figure out what I'll do for a target before they arrive and I start practicing.

1 comment:

M.C. Elroy said...

You can usually find a variety of shuriken, throwing knives, etc. at a flea market. However, I've never found QUALITY stuff at a flea market, so if you're looking for quality, you probably went to the right place.

From my experience with simple "throwing stars" (I used either a wooden fence or a tree as my target; unfortunately, where I live now provides no such target), shuriken get dirty pretty easily. My shuriken were super cheap, so I didn't really care. However, if you spend a pretty penny on quality shuriken, then you will wind up spending some time after each throwing practice cleaning and polishing.

You should invest in an Alfred for such work, so that you can focus on going out and beating up the criminal scum that plagues your city.